Before I decided to post this video I was thrilled, yet hesitant. I am thrilled that I can be a part of A Girl Like Me and try to make a difference to someone somewhere. But then the thoughts of not getting the message across that it is so important to be safe, positive or negative, and that living with HIV/AIDS doesn't mean automatic death anymore, scared me. I want people to see that me, an everyday person you see, can be infected with HIV. You should never trust just anyone with your life and your health.
This video was shot by Maria Mejia at the International AIDS Conference 2012 this past week, (July 20-28), in Washington D.C. My emotions were running like a roller coaster everyday I was there. So many people fighting for treatment and rights and trying to educate people. It was truly amazing to me. I live in an area where it is not really talked about and NONE of my friends that surround me are HIV+ so this was so comforting to me to have others, not just people in general, but women!! Women that have been infected many years longer than I have!!! How encouraging it was to hear their stories and feel the pain that is still there from being infected after all these years. I sometimes think to myself, "Oh Angela, get over it! It's been 22 years of dealing with this virus and yes, in the past 2 years having trouble, but grow up, put your big girl panties on and suck it up". I found that I wasn't alone in my struggles after all this time and never really sucking it up completely.
I want to reach out and help someone, somewhere with my story, my experiences with this virus. I want to hopefully help someone to stop and think about what they are doing before they just do it and put themselves or others at risk of being infected. So when I say, "When you think of HIV, think of me" it's not because Angela is a walking virus, it's because Angela is a wife, mother, everyday, fun loving person that has an HIV story to tell and I want my story to stick in someone's mind. I may never know if my verbal story, my blogs or now my video blog, will ever help at least that one person, somewhere, but if I don't try, I know it won't help.
I hope anyone that sees this, sees that I am speaking from my heart, no matter how goofy or silly I may look or sound. I am searching out to help ALL who will listen. If anyone has any questions or wants to contact me, feel free to e-mail me at the firstname.lastname@example.org I talked about in the video, or you can e-mail me at my new address dHIVa1974@yahoo.com or go to my new Facebook page "dHIVa Positive". Much love to you all!!!!! Ang